New Delhi: As tensions between the United States and Iran continue to escalate in the wake of air missiles fired by Tehran on US troops, state-run airlines Air India on Wednesday issued a statement announcing reroute of flights overflying Iran. Also Read - Air India Pilots Union Seeks Temporary Suspension of Breath Analyzer Test Amid Coronavirus Surge
“Safety of our passengers and crew members comes first. In light of the tensions within the Iranian airspace a decision to temporarily reroute flights of Air India (AI) and Air India Express (AIX) overflying Iran has been taken,” said Air India spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar in a press statement. Also Read - BREAKING: Air India Flight Makes Emergency Landing at Kochi Airport
The statement further added that the rerouted flights of Air India and AI Express from Delhi may see an increase in flying time by approximately 20 minutes, while those flying from Mumbai may witness increased airtime of up to 40 minutes. The situation is being monitored, the spokesperson added. Also Read - Air India to be 100% Privatised by May-end, Choice Between Disinvestment or Closing Down: Hardeep Puri
Several other airlines across the world have announced cancellations and rerouting of flights over Iraq and Iran in order to avoid trouble amid the growing tensions.
German airline Lufthansa announced the cancellation of its Wednesday’s Frankfurt-Tehran flight as well as Saturday’s twice-weekly service to Iraqi city Erbil. The airline giant stated that it would not fly over Iran and Iraq “until further notice” owing to the escalated tensions after Tehran launched missiles earlier today.
Earlier today, Singapore Airlines issued a statement saying, ” In view of the latest developments in the region, all SIA flights in and out of Europe will not be flying over the Iranian airspace. We will continue to monitor the situation closely.”
British Airways said that the airline was in constant contact with partners around the world to asses safety of its air routes. The airlines said that it would take necessary actions wherever needes ensuring safety of its passengers and crew members. Meanwhile, Air France also suspended flights using the Iranian and Iraqi airspace.
In the wee hours of Wednesday, Iran launched multiple rockets at US’s Al Asad airbase in Iraq in an operation termed ‘Martya Soleimani’ codenamed as ‘Oh Zahra’. The attack comes days after Iranian General Qassem Soleimani was assassinated in US airstrikes near Baghdad airport, which resulted in an escalation of the tension between the US and Iran.